Commissioners want to look into cheese plant road options

By Tony Parra

The Roosevelt County Commissioners want money allocated for a cheese plant road to go towards the maintenance and upgrades of the county roads leading to the cheese plant, and not towards creating a new asphalt road.
Commissioners decided that $170,000 allocated from capital outlay would not be enough for a quality paved road leading from the south to the cheese plant, and asked County Administrator Charlene Hardin to look into the commission’s options on the matter.
Commissioner Chad Davis said the money should be used instead to upgrade the roads leading to the cheese plant and Commission Chairman Dennis Lopez stated the money could also be used to devise a feasibility study.
City Manager Debi Lee was in attendance and said Curry County, Roosevelt County, Clovis and Portales city officials could meet to discuss the cheese plant road project.
Hardin informed the commissioners of alternate options for accruing funding. Hardin is concerned with the budget for Roosevelt County.
A senate floor amendment gives local county commissioners an option to either utilize a negative or a positive referendum with the community before increments on a gross receipts tax are imposed.
Counties currently have three 1/8 increments that may be imposed for various reasons and Roosevelt County currently uses two. Hardin said Roosevelt County imposes a 1/8 increment for general funding and another 1/8 increment for indigent funding.
“You’re (commissioners) going to have to look at other sources of income before you deplete your reserves,” Hardin said. “We’re not gaining any interest on our reserves. Nobody likes taxes, but from a budget prospective, you have to start looking at alternate avenues.”
Pat Jaureguiberry, who works for the United States Department of Agriculture and provides wildlife services, updated the commissioners on the work he has done since his implementation in September. Jaureguiberry said he didn’t have his equipment out until October but since that time he has worked on 24 different properties, done aerial hunting and rid the area of nearly 200 coyotes. He went before the commissioners and requested to work full-time for Roosevelt County, instead of his current status as part-time.
“A major part of his time is spent on coyotes,” Roosevelt County Extension Agent Floyd McAlister said. “I second the motion (to have Jaureguiberry work full-time). A major part of his time is spent on coyotes. He was able to get rid of 194 coyotes.”
Jaureguiberry added that the coyotes are a nuisance for cattle growers. He said the reason for the high coyote population is because the animals hunt mice and rodents, which tend to be more frequent around farms and dairies.
“I use cyanide guns on coyotes because it’s more humane than steel traps,” Jaureguiberry said.